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For something to fill the holes in their souls. Two things prompted this.

First up: How did the Olympics (and sports in general) acheive this religious status? This story is really about the separation of religion and state. It is two steps from recognition of the true place of things, and as such, it blows me away.

The second is the movie “The Bucket List”. Jack and Morgan travel the world in search of meaning. Boomers everywhere live vicariously through these aging actors and their (non-cg?) backdrops of Egypt. The premise was thin, the plot is weak, and the script was heavyhanded where it should have been deft and clever. As I watched it, I thought that a journey through the mortal delights should give us a sense of emptiness. But this movie was more than a sense of emptiness. It was emptiness that thought it offered meaning. Maybe the writers began to believe themselves, but I think people will know better than being told that it is okay for an agnostic to have a chance to believe, but to walk away, and then die well because he had his eyes open, or that it is okay to galavant the world in a selfish denial party.

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Naturally, I saw 10,000 BC. During the epic I was impressed at how watchable and decent it was. It was only at the end that I realized it was the worst kind of noble savage humanist propaganda. The story is basically that of a hunter in 10,000 BC who leaves his village for the cause of love, and ends up conquering the pyramid builders in a war for independence that highlights his ability to overcome natural obstacles and lead the savages against a god.

Hardly surprising, there was a deep nature theme to it. The savages coexist with nature, and “Earth Mother” (old lady not earth itself) has some mystical powers. However, the earth is clearly stronger than old mother. The next highest power is the aforementioned hero hunter. He conquers the deserts and mountains, fights off beasts, and interacts with others.

This is where it gets weird though. His final test is to fight the gods who are enslaving all mankind to build the pyramids and sphinx. He is told by an ex-slave that the gods used to be three, but are now one. The gods are the only religion in the movie, and I think it odd that they are a former trinity. Naturally, the hero hunter proclaims that “he is not a god”, and emphasizes this fact with a spear. The animals also help him to bring down the house of the gods. So here we have god as a contrivance used to enslave men, and the embodiment of raw man-power overthrowing the mumbo jumbo and leading man to freedom from the tyranny of gods and religion in general.

So, lessons of the movie. The earth gives us life (as the hero and his earth-woman watch plants grow to feed their people at the end).

Religion and gods are used to enslave men away from their natural states of hunting and farming.

These faces of tyranny should be overthrown as violently as possible, and man should go back to the pristine way he was.

Then how on earth (pun) did we get here, making movies and discussing them through the miracle of electricity generated by dead animals from back then, conducted by metal that the savages had no concept of, operating in social frameworks that are only given us by a triune God out of his grace, and not needing to go on yearly mammoth hunts to avoid starvation?

Just what we’ve all been waiting for

I realized that the reason I enjoyed watching the Giants win the Superbowl so much is because it’s like every football movie out there. The underdog team comes from behind and beats the undefeated team in the last two minutes of the game.

that remind us that capitalism can still result it surprisingly bad taste.

My brother decided to make a stop-motion lego film with his digital camera over the holidays. This is the result.

So…the word on the street is that the infamous Joker is not the character to really pay attention to in the upcoming Batman flick. Instead, keep an eye on Harvey Dent (the gent who becomes two-face). Read More…

“Single men end up withering away in rooms that smell of feet and armpits.” Said by “Wilby’s” friend in “Amazing Grace”. Lots of Quotations there, but bear with me. I had some other thoughts on the movie too. Why is only the first verse of the aforementioned hymn ever sung? My own personal belief is that the first verse makes one feel good, and when taken out of context, it can be thought to apply to almost anyone, regardless of the working of the Holy Spirit.

Did the filmmakers know that their portrayal of Wilberforce’s temptation to revolution was so apt in showing a Christian response to governmental idiocy?

I think not, mainly because they portray Wilberforce’s relationship to God as that of a valley girl to a valley boy. Reference the scene with wet grass and spiderwebs.

Kudos to the filmmakers for showing that you can be peaceful and still accomplish great things. Apart from “The Passion”, I can’t think of a movie that has shown the truth of change being accomplished through non warlike sacrifice. In some ways, Wilberforce was a more Christ-like savior for the slaves than William Wallace or Beowulf for their respective peoples.

Interesting point about the most powerful empire of the time being built on slaves. Was it built on slaves, or the slave trade?

At least in Hollywood that is. This is an interesting article from the Oxford University Press Blog.

Sorry for the long hiatus. I still don’t have a real dependable internet connection, hence the intermittent posting.

Live Free or Die Hard
It’s a very rare occurrence these days that when I get my hopes up for a movie, I leave the theater feeling as pleased as I expected to. My current habit for most movies is to read a critical review prior to watching it, so that if it turns out to be even just a mediocre film, I am pleasantly surprised and still enjoy the movie. In the case of Live Free or Die Hard, I was hard pressed to find a negative review and consequently had pretty high hopes. In the end, Die Hard paid off. It was worth my eight bucks and then some. Each Die Hard film in the series seems to steadily increase the stakes. Live Free or Die Hard had the highest stakes yet and it definitely made for a thrilling film. No, it wasn’t anything for cinematic history, but yes, it was totally freaking awesome.

Transformers
This movie was just fun. I could probably nit-pick if I wanted to. I had heard rumors that this movie was going to have a huge global warming theme to it and I was actually pleasantly surprised by how prominently the theme of self-sacrifice was.

The Simpsons Movie
My only real criticism of this movie needs some introduction. In all the years I’ve watched the Simpsons, they are very careful to comically critique all folks. Both liberals AND conservatives are lampooned. It’s like equal opportunity mockery. In this film, I was a little surprised that they didn’t end up really lampooning global warming like they usually do. They finally bought into something which was a little disappointing. Besides that however, the movie was great fun and if you didn’t stay through the credits, you really missed out. BIG TIME.

The Bourne Ultimatum
I thought the second Bourne movie was totally dumb because they killed off his love interest like five minutes in. In action movies like this, it is very easy to have only one type of tension and drama. The kind that is two-dimensional, revolves exclusively around the events happening, and is handily resolved when the circumstances become better at the end of the movie. Frankly, it adds a quite a bit of depth to a movie when there is not only tension between the protagonist and his circumstances or the protagonist and the antagonist, but when there is also tension between the protagonist and secondary characters on his own side. In this case, the lack of a romantic interest in the second movie, totally undercut it. In the third movie however, I think they realized this and did their best to reinstate this romantic tension. Overall, I was please with this third installment and thought it provided a fitting end to the series. (I have heard rumors though, that there is a fourth book in the works which suggests their might be another movie.)

Stardust
I just saw this movie recently without ever having seen a trailer for it. One of my friends was really excited about it frankly, I had no idea what to expect. If you are a fan of cult classics, (i.e. movies like The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Ladyhawke, and Willow) I am fairly confident that you will enjoy this movie. It definitely has parts that feel shamelessly ripped from other recent fantasy works (when you see them, you’ll know what I’m talking about), but overall it carves a new niche for itself and is rather enjoyable in the process. Oh, and there is a bit of adult humor which livens it up a bit too.

Coming Soon (When the movies come out): American Gangster, 3:10 to Yuma, Get Smart, The Darjeeling Limited, No Country for Old Men, and probably others…